Parmesan Biscuits

25 August 2010

Parmesan Biscuits

Canapes / hors d’oeurves to serve with drinks…. Delicious, bite sized morsels that go well with drinks and don’t turn you into a kitchen slave – translation, they take 15 minutes to make!

Perfect for a summer‘s evening, sitting on a terrace, sipping cocktails with friends while the sun sets, I do paint a pretty picture now don’t I.

These Parmesan Biscuits are perfect as they are a little salty and have a kick of black pepper which nicely offsets the sweetness of a drink.

This is a slight adaptation of The Cook’s Companion recipe, I have reduced the salt by 1/4 and the cooking time by 3 minutes.

PARMESAN BISCUITS

Gougères - French Cheese Puffs

Gougères – French Cheese Puffs

Gougères are classic French cheese puffs made with choux pastry and grated cheese (Gruyère / Comté). French they may be but it was in Russia that I really took a liking to them.

I blame it on the French bakery Volkonsky‘s, which was in dangerous proximity to Katya’s Moscow appt. A small bakery / café selling delicious pastries, sandwiches, breads and coffee not to mention gougères.

It was a lesson in how something so innocent can be so addictive … I could have eaten them by the handful.

In memory of  Volkonsky’s gougères, here is  my recipe (see link Gougères below):

Gougères Cheese Puffs

Blinis poivron rouge 

{BLINIS AU CAVIAR DE POIVRON ROUGE ET NOIX} With my recent engagement, and hence the beginning stages of wedding planning (wonderful but ever time consuming!) I have been MIA from Sweet Pea for the past 2 weeks. I thought what better for a welcome back than a recipe inspired from the night Olivier proposed to me. 

It was a warm mid August evening - we were in Monaco, at Alain Ducasse’s restaurant the ‘Bar & Boeuf’, at a table over looking the sea…. the dinner was exquisite, every detail perfect, including the lovely apératif they served us with a delicious red pepper coulis. As first impressions go – this coulis made a great one, and so when I passed the pile of plump garden peppers in the market this past weekend – there was only one thing that came to mind!

As I was having guests over that night and am always on the look out for a sumptuous while simple to prepare amuse bouche (meaning amuse your mouth, aka canapé or hors d’oeuvre), I decide to create a recipe inspired by the red pepper coulis I had in Monaco with a thicker consistency and the addition of the blinis. Topped with a drop of ricotta cream and sprinkled with sumac, these bit sized canapés were a welcomed treat.

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RECIPE

CAVIAR D’AUBERGINE

5 June 2007

Caviar Aubergine image

{CAVIAR OF AUBERGINE} The aubergine aka EGGPLANT I must confess is a fruit (actually a berry – yes I know I too grew-up thinking it was a vegetable) that I have never warmed to cooking (no pun intended!!) Until one day it occurred to me - if the texture of the aubergine wants to go soft when cooked, then don’t fight it – make a caviar. And the rest is history.

When I was making this recipe last night I realised that I was short of olive oil and so substituted 1 tablespoon of olive oil for a tablespoon of sesame oil, which was delicious.

You can make this recipe with many different types and sizes of aubergines, but I found that the small dark variety yield the least amount of water and make a thicker caviar, while sicilian aubergines which are generally a lighter purple, larger and round in shape, give a smoother texture and more subtle taste. 

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RECIPE

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